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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Foodbanks: ‘Some people are so hungry they will open the food as soon as they are handed it’

IT is a heartbreaking reality that some children in Copeland do not have enough to eat.

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Jessie Hendry from North Lakes Food Bank: ‘The winter months increase the daily choices for people choosing between heating their homes or feeding their families’

Alongside an increasing number of adults, they are seeking the help of a foodbank to ensure they are fed.

Jessie Hendry, a project co-ordinator for the North Lakes Foodbank, said: “When they come to the foodbank some people are so hungry they will open the food as soon as they are handed it. The winter months increase the daily choices for people choosing between heating their homes or feeding their families.’’

In October, the foodbanks fed 245 people across West Cumbria, which included 116 people with food vouchers, 156 adults and 89 children. This time last year they fed 40 people. In Copeland, 98 people were helped by the foodbank, mostly in the Harbour, Mirehouse, Moresby and Sandwith wards.

Anyone wishing to donate food can leave it at the New Life Church, Whitehaven (see panel for the list of goods needed). Around 100 people regularly donate food, and the aim is to encourage more people and groups to donate weekly items.

Frontline care professionals, such as doctors and social workers, identify people in crisis and issue a food voucher which provides three days of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food.

Around 50 volunteers helped to distribute a tonne and a half of food in October.

People seek help from the foodbank when there are delays or changes in benefits (48 per cent), low income, homelessness and redundancy. In 2011-12 foodbanks fed 128,687 people nationwide, 100 per cent up from previous year.

“When people come along to the foodbanks we can also signpost them to other services which can help with long-term planning,’’ Jessie said.

  • THE shopping list of food donations which can be left at the New Life Church, Whitehaven: Milk (UHT or powdered); sugar; fruit juice (carton); soup; pasta sauces; sponge pudding (tinned); tomatoes (tinned); cereals; rice pudding (tinned); tea bags/instant coffee; instant mashed potato; rice/pasta; tinned meat/fish; tinned vegetables/fruit; jam, biscuits and snack bars. (Selection boxes in run-up to Christmas).
  • NEARLY 137 crates of food (worth £2,546) were collected from customers over last weekend at Whitehaven’s Tesco for the local foodbank. Tesco has also promised to top up the donations by 30 per cent. One customer asked staff to spend £100 on items for the foodbank and then to meet her at the till so she could pay for it. Alison Hogg, of Tesco, said: “It was an amazing weekend, we had such a fantastic response. Our customers have been so generous.’’
  • PLACES to access vouchers: Age UK, Old Customs House, West Strand, Whitehaven; Early Intervention Team, Newlands Unit, West Cumberland Hospital; Whitehaven CAB; Children’s Services, Blencathra House, Whitehaven. Copeland Community Mental Health Team, Richmond House; Egremont Methodist Church; Whitehaven Flatt Walks Health Centre; Howgill Family Centre, Whitehaven; Inspira Connexions, Roper Street, Whitehaven; New Life Church, Whitehaven; Salvation Army, Catherine Street, Whitehaven. Beech House Surgery, St Bridget's Lane, Egremont; St Andrews Church, Mirehouse; St Begh’s Priory, Whitehaven; St Benedict's, Whitehaven, St Nicholas Centre and St James Church; St Peter’s Church; West Cumbria Society for the Blind. Family Advice Centre Fell, View Avenue, Woodhouse; URC Whitehaven Church Office; Whitehaven Community Trust; Woodbank Community Church.
Have your say

I wonder what this counrty is coming to. That people have to go without food. We send billion of pounds aboard but yet our own are straving. It's time this counrty's groverment looked inwards and not out. Cut all aid aboard untill we are sorted. We are sliping back into 'Dickins' times. Where the 'Rich' get richer and the poor 'do not matter'. I can see a year of 'discontent' were the masses start to say 'NO'.

Posted by The Mole on 17 December 2012 at 09:55

Kerry, there is no shame in asking for help when it is most needed. We all get into a crisis at least once in our lives and its people like those that you met that are angels on this earth to help us through tough times. Hope things are working out for you now.

Posted by SB on 13 December 2012 at 13:34

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